Glee Club Answers Charge of Sexism
IN VIEW of many comments I have heard during the past few weeks-comments based on misinterpretation of information-regarding the Harvard-Yale concert of November 20, I have decided to put before the public the real facts leading up to a concert which was asymmetric in that men and women represented Yale while only men represented Harvard. Considering that the only concert the Harvard Glee Club presents to the Harvard community as a glee club is the annual fall football concert, I wrote to Fenno Heath, conductor of the Yale Glee Club, on April 30 expressing my wish to keep this year's concert in the traditional style: a performance by tow glee clubs. It was my understanding at the time that the Yale Glee Club and the Yale Women's Chorus were two separate organizations with different conductors. On May 19, Mr. Heath wrote that this proposal was acceptable to him. Then in September he telephoned me to say that the choral situation at Yale had changed: the central group was now a mixed group with the Glee Club and the Women's Chorus as appendages. He informed me that Yale would therefore come as a mixed group or not at all. The executive committee of the Harvard Glee Club felt strongly that the idea of collaboration should be maintained and proceeded to invite Yale as a mixed group. The committee still felt, however, that the football concert was the most appropriate place for the Harvard Glee Club to perform as a glee club. This decision raised several problems, the most pressing of which was housing for the Yale women. I related this problem to Mr. Heath whereupon the executive committee of the Yale mixed group suggested to Harvard that the Yale women be housed by Yale alumni in the Cambridge area.
Given these facts, the public is invited to reinterpret two statements appearing in the CRIMSON's article of November 23. First, that "spokesmen" from Yale complained to the CRIMSON about arrangements for their women which they had suggested to us seems singularly ironic to me. I find it a breach of etiquette that the dissatisfaction within the Yale group concerning these arrangements was voiced neither to me nor to my management in the weeks preceding the concert. Second, the most inflammatory quotation appearing in your article, our manager's statement: "We would rather sing alone than sing with the Radcliffe Choral Society," must not be taken out of context. It is to be applied to the football concert only and is nothing more than a translation of the idea that the Harvard Glee Club should appear at least once during the year as the Harvard Glee Club within the Harvard community.
As for the alma mater question. I take full responsibility for suggesting to Fenno Heath that each group sing its own. It was my opinion that until such time as women are officially admitted to Harvard College, the official song representing the institution should be sung by men.
I trust that when the CRIMSON considers a potentially destructive article in the future, the editors will see fit to take the necessary time to solicit the facts of the situation from those people who are best able to provide them.
( F. John Adams is Conductor of the Harvard Glee Club and Instructor in Music. )